Facility Helps Fill Housing Void for Aging Baby Boomer Population
Daily Reporter – By Kristy Deer
NEW PALESTINE — He sits in a comfortable chair near a large window, looking out over a frozen pond covered with snow that sparkles in the sun. Paul Manley, 85, likes the view from his new third-floor room at Woodland Terrace of New Palestine Inspired Senior Living, a new $20 million assisted living center located at 4400 Terrace Drive.
The assisted living center years in the making opened to residents Wednesday, Jan. 17. Already, half of the 98 units have been reserved. The facility is one of two senior living housing developments to open in Hancock County in as many years. About 13 miles north of Woodland Terrace, the newly opened Traditions at Brookside, a 125,000-square-foot facility in McCordsville, offers 133 independent and assisted-living quarters to residents of all ages.
The facilities, plans for which were announced within months of one another, fill a void for aging local residents who are beginning to seek housing options that offer a range of assistance, from light housekeeping to stand-by medical support — services that will become increasingly in demand as baby boomers reach retirement, officials said.
Across the county, the number of residents 85 and older has doubled since 2000 — a trend that is backed by national data, U.S. Census reports show. As the number of aging residents climbs, more seniors will search for full-service communities designed specifically to accommodate their needs, officials say.
Manley found just what he needed at Woodland Terrace. Surrounded by family, including grandson Jack and great-grandson Liam, Manley settled in while his son, John, and daughter-in-law, Lynda, unpacked his belongings. Facility operators plan to help one resident move in each day until the 50 people signed up for a unit are settled, company representatives said. Manley was the first resident to move into the assisted living building, where he now has access to nursing care 24 hours per day, seven days per week, should he need it. And that’s a relief to those who love him but know they can’t be at his side every moment.
“It makes me sleep better at night,” Lynda Manley said. “We won’t have to worry if one of us can’t get over here to check on him.”
Shortly after the holidays, Manley’s health reached a point where his family said they’d feel better having him surrounded by staff to assist him. And so, plans were made for Manley to move into the new three-story, 110,000-square-feet building, which had been under construction the past two years.
Announced in 2013 by Indianapolis-based Justus Companies, the development provides cottages for independent living, assisted care apartment units and a memory care section. Town leaders said they see the project as an asset to the community.
“It’s a nice new community within our community that’s going to bring in jobs,” council member Jan Jarson said.
The assisted living building offers studio, single and two-bedroom units on the top two floors with prices ranging from $3,150 to $4,250 per month. The facility offers additional care services at an extra cost, marketing director Bridget Edens said. “We’ll have people in here, from those who simply don’t want to cook or do maintenance on their homes to those who need intense nursing assistance,” Edens said. Based on a needs assessment, personal care costs can add an extra $650 to $1,350 per month.
The building is decorated in warm brown, orange and turquoise. Each floor has a lounge area and a 24-hour nursing station. The staff offices are on the main floor, where there is a concierge and a dining room boasting a head chef who makes meals from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The facility aims to meet clients’ many needs all in one space, offering a worship center, dance studio, salon, fitness room and outpatient physical therapy section on the campus.
Several areas through-out the building are reserved for residents to watch movies, read and play games. There is also a third-floor enrichment room where residents can paint, make crafts or cook and share recipes with the chef. A special memory care section houses up to 21 residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The secured environment is on the main floor and is complete with its own nursing staff, private courtyard and dining. The private suites in memory care start at $5,750 and go up to $5,950 per month.
For the past few weeks, administrators have been training close to 50 full- and part-time employees who will staff the assisted living center. From nursing staff to maintenance workers, the vast majority of employees are from the Hancock County area, Edens said.
More staff will be hired as needed as the building fills up. Outpatient therapy and the salon are open to the community.
Organizers are considering opening the dining facility to the public for Sunday brunch in the future.